The Australian Government has announced that it will be committing eight million (AUD) dollars to the Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries & Food Security (CTI-CFF). The announcement came as a group of countries from Southeast Asia and the Pacific came together at the Rio+20 Summit to showcase their combined efforts to save the Coral Triangle. The Government of Germany expressed additional interest in the Coral Triangle, which will hopefully translate into support for programmes in the bioregion in the future.
In 2009, the six countries (Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Solomon Islands and Timor Leste) signed onto one of the world’s most comprehensive regional marine and coastal resource management plans. They agreed to an ambitious and visionary 10-year Regional Plan of Action (RPOA) to safeguard the Coral Triangle’s marine and coastal biological resources.
The CTI-CFF side event at the Rio+20 Summit was attended by Indonesia’s Minister for Marine Affairs and Fisheries, together with the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Malaysia’s Minister for Natural Resources and Environment, the Philippines’ Undersecretary, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Timor Leste Vice Minister for Economy and Development.
A number of the countries expressed their vision for developing blue economies, recognising the importance of people-centred approaches and healthy marine ecosystems to the livelihoods, income and sustainable development of their countries. His Excellency Sharif C. Sutardjo, Minister for Marine Affairs and Fisheries, Indonesia said, “Indonesia is strongly committed to the CTI-CFF as an implementing framework for developing a blue economy.”
WWF, one of the CTI development partners, congratulated all of the countries for their leadership, and commitment. WWF International President Yolanda Kakabadse said “The Coral Triangle is an illustration of the importance of countries cooperating on a regional basis to provide sustainable management of their significant and shared ocean and coastal resources to secure the linkages between healthy ecosystems and sustainable livelihoods and incomes.”
Indonesia’s Minister for Marine Affairs and Fisheries extended an invitation to the Coral Triangle countries to attend a CTI-CFF summit at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC), which will be hosted by Indonesia in 2013.